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VNA Travel Wise

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are routine vaccinations?
A. Vaccines that are generally administered after you are born, throughout childhood and adolescence (like polio, measles, mumps, rubella [MMR] ) are categorized as “routine vaccinations”. Routine vaccinations do not stop at childhood or adolescence. Routine vaccinations are also recommended for adults in order to maintain immunity to common diseases which adults may be at risk for, regardless of whether or not they are traveling to different parts of the world.

Q. What is the difference between a required vaccination and a recommended vaccination?
A. Some countries “require” that travelers receive certain vaccinations and present documented proof of those vaccinations in order to enter the country. These are known as "required" vaccinations.

"Recommended" vaccinations are those which may further protect a traveler against diseases known to be active in a particular part of the country. While not required for admittance to a country, these vaccines are recommended if you wish to increase your level of contracting and spreading of a disease.

Q. How soon before I travel should I make an appointment at a travel clinic?
A. Many vaccinations require several weeks for you to build sufficient immunity. Travelers are strongly encouraged to make an appointment for their vaccinations 4 to 6 weeks before departure. If you are unable to make an appointment within that time frame, you should still see your provider to inquire about accelerated schedules, travel health information or any other necessary medications to protect yourself with while traveling.

Q. How do I know if there is risk for yellow fever in the country I will be visiting?
A. In order to obtain further information on the need for yellow fever vaccination, a travel itinerary is needed to provide each traveler with the most specific information, for example; some yellow fever endemic countries in Sub-Saharan Africa require documented proof of yellow fever vaccination for entry, while certain other countries where yellow fever does not occur may require documented proof of yellow fever vaccination to enter if you have been in a yellow fever area 6 days prior to arriving.

Q. Will I have to go to a special clinic to get a yellow fever vaccination and proof of vaccination?
A. Not all travel clinics are yellow fever certified, so if you need a yellow fever vaccine make sure your provider is certified by the state, as only they can administer the vaccine. Once the vaccine is given by a certified provider, you should receive a stamped and signed International Certificate of Vaccination. Visiting Nurse Association of Southeast Michigan is a certified provider of yellow fever vaccine.

Q. How do I know if there is a risk for malaria in the country I will be visiting?
A. A travel itinerary will assist you and your provider to determine the risk for malaria at your destination.

Q. How will I know which antimalarial drug is the correct one for me?
A. Your physician can decide the best antimalarial medication that is best for you, based on your travel destination and health status.

Please contact us with any questions.
VNA Manager of Community Programs (248) 967-8751
VNA Community Programs Assistant (248) 967-8755
E-Mail: vna@vna.org